Which Colleges Really Produce the Best NFL QBs?

Luis AlbertoCorrespondent IMarch 16, 2008

When you think of the storied programs of college football, you think of Michigan, Notre Dame, USC etc... So, logic would tell you that they would produce the most NFL talent and, therefore, the most NFL quarterbacks. But, every year I watch the draft and hear the names of qb's called from some less traditional schools (Oregon, Cal, Fresno State), so I decided to put the so called logic to the test.

I went and looked at which college current nfl qb's attended. I included any qb on the depth charts of footballguys.com as of 8/28/2007 - some have since been released.

What did we find:

No one school jumped out immediately. 10 schools had 3 quarterbacks in the NFL. Those were Washington, USC, Tulane, Oregon, Michigan, Miami, Marshall, Fresno State, Florida, and Boston Colllege. That's a pretty eclectic list. That's 3 PAC 10 schools, 2 Conference USA schools, and 2 ACC schools. The other 3 are from the Big 10, WAC, and SEC.

14 schools had 2 qb's. Those were Wisconsin, Cal, Akron, Utah, Texas, Purdue, Oregon State, Miami of Ohio, Louisiana Tech, Iowa State, Indiana, Florida A & M, Florida State and Georgia.

If we break this down by conference, the PAC-10 leads the way with 15. Followed by the SEC (13), Big-10 (12), the WAC and Conference USA each with 11. The Big 12 only has 6; one less than the Big East and MAC and 3 less than the acc.

The numbers for starters are even more scattered. Only one school, USC, has multiple current starters in the NFL. Those are Heisman trophy winners Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer. (Marshall had 2 until Byron Leftwich's demotion and release) 30 schools have one starter in the nfl. The SEC had the most starters with 6. Followed by the PAC-10 (4), ACC, Conference USA, and Big 10 (all with 3). The Big East has 2 - that's the same amount as the MAC, WAC, and SWAC.

There are two conclusions I would draw from this information.

1) USC produces the most NFL qb's. I don't know where John David Booty projects in the NFL draft, but if we assume he'll be an NFL starter in the next three years, USC would have 3 starters while no other team (outside of maybe Michigan with, potentially, Henne and Brady) having more than 1.

2) QB's probably choose schools where they'll have an opportunity to play. Jay Cutler was obviously good enough to play at Florida or Georgia....but he chose Vanderbilt. I don't know why he did that - it may have been for academic reasons - but I would guess that the opportunity to get extensive playing time (in what amounts to an NFL audition) factored into his decision.

Some other notes:

  • The top 6 schools in the current (as of 9/2) AP poll have a starter (or, in one case, soon to be starter) in the NFL. USC (Leinart, Palmer), LSU (JaMarcus Russell - not yet a starter), West Virginia (Bulger), Texas (V Young) and Michigan (Brady)
  • The only school in the current top 10 with zero qb's in the NFL is Oklahoma (No. 9 Virginia Tech has only the suspended Michael Vick). Louisville has only Chris Redman who is on the Falcons for now....but is not assured of a spot.
  • Of the Top 25, 8 schools (Oklahoma, UCLA, Rutgers, Nebraska, Arkansas, TCU, Hawaii, Texas A & M) don't have a quarterback in the nfl.
  • Notre Dame only has one QB in the NFL - Brady Quinn. Steve Buerlein was the last serviceable NFL QB from Notre Dame - playing 15 seasons for 6 teams and throwing for a league leading 4,436 yards and 36 TDs in 1999. Rick Mirer flames out as the number 2 pick in the draft and Ron Powlus never materialized into an NFL level college player.
  • The last 15 Super Bowls have been won by QB's from Michigan (3 - Tom Brady), UCLA (3 Troy Aikman), Stanford (2 John Elway), Tennessee (2006 Peyton Manning), Miami-Ohio (2005 Ben Rothlesberger), Florida State (2002 Brad Johnson), Fresno State (2000 Trent Dilfer), Northern Iowa (1999 Kurt Warner), Southern Miss (1996 Brett Favre) and BYU (1994 Steve Young).
  • No college has had multiple different QB's win the Super Bowl in the last 15 years
  • Of the last 15 Heisman Trophy winners, 9 have been quarterbacks. Only Carson Palmer has gone on to NFL greatness. The jury is still out on Matt Leinart (a starter in AZ) and Troy Smith (who barely made the Ravens). Chris Weinke and Danny Wuerffel managed to stick areound the NFL for awhile - albeit with unspactular production and usually as back-ups. Jason White, Eric Crouch, Charlie Ward, and Gino Torretta had little or no NFL career. In fairness, Charlie Ward did not even try - becoming the point guard of the NY Knicks instead.
  • If you look at Heisman winners all the way back to 1970, only Palmer has really become a star. Testaverde, Flutie, and Jim Plunkett had decent careers. Pat Sullivan, Andre Ware, and Ty Detmer made little impact in the NFL.

The following contains:

  1. A sorted List of number of qb's by college
  2. A sorted list of number of starters by college
  3. A sorted list of number of qb's by conference
  4. A sorted list of number of starters by conference
  5. Every NFL qb and their college

Thanks to footballguys.com

1. A sorted List of number of qb's by college

School QB's

Washington 3
Tulane 3
Oregon 3
Michigan 3
Miami 3
Marshall 3
Fresno State 3
Florida 3
Boston College 3
Wisconsin 2
Cal 2
Akron 2
Utah 2
Texas 2
Purdue 2
Oregon State 2
Miami of Ohio 2
Louisiana Tech 2
Iowa State 2
Indiana 2
Florida A & M 2
Florida State 2
Georgia 2
Wyoming 1
Georgetown 1
Grambling 1
Harvard 1
Houston 1
Idaho State 1
Boise State 1
Kentucky 1
Louisiana - Lafayette 1
Eastern Michigan 1
Louisville 1
Auburn 1
Arkansas State 1
Eastern Illinois 1
Arizona State 1
Michigan State 1
Middle Tennessee State 1
Mississippi 1
NC State 1
Nevada 1
Norther Iowa 1
Northern Illinois 1
Northwestern 1
Northwestern State - Louisiana 1
Notre Dame 1
Ohio State 1
Oklahoma 1
Alcorn State 1
East Carolina 1
Penn State 1
Pitt 1
Princeton 1
Connecticut 1
Sam Houston State 1
San Jose State 1
South Carolina 1
Southern Miss 1
Stanford 1
Syracuse 1
Tarleton State 1
Tennessee 1
Coastal Carolina 1
Toledo 1
Alabama State 1
Tulsa 1
Alabama 1
Clemson 1
Vanderbilt 1
Virginia 1
Virginia Tech 1
Central Washington 1
Weber State 1
West Virginia 1
William and Mary 1
Central Florida 1

2. A sorted list of number of starters by college

School Starting QB's
West Virginia 1
Alabama State 1
Alcorn State 1
Auburn 1
Boston College 1
Central Washington 1
East Carolina 1
Eastern Illinois 1
Florida 1
Indiana 1
Louisiana - Lafayette 1
Marshall 1
Miami of Ohio 1
Michigan 1
Mississippi 1
NC State 1
Oregon 1
Purdue 1
San Jose State 1
Southern Miss 1
Syracuse 1
Tennessee 1
Texas 1
Tulane 1
Akron 1
Utah 1
Vanderbilt 1
Virginia 1
Washington 1

3. A sorted list of number of qb's by conference
Conference Total QB's
Pac-10 15
SEC 13
Big-10 12
WAC 11
C-USA 11
acc 9
Big East 7
Big 12 6
Sun Belt 3
Ivy 2
Big Sky 2
Southland 2
Moutain West 2
Patriot 2
Great Northwest 1
A-10 1
Red River 1
Big South 1
Ohio Valley 1
Missouri Valley 1
Independent 1

4. A sorted list of number of starters by conference

Conference Starters

Pac-10 4
acc 3
Big-10 3
Big East 2
Great Northwest 1
Big 12 1
Ohio Valley 1
Sun Belt 1
Moutain West 1

5. Every NFL qb and their college
Tom Brady - Michigan
Matt Cassell - USC
Matt Gutierrez - Idaho State
Testaverde - Miami
JP Losman - Tulane
Craig Nall - Northwestern State - Louisiana
Trent Edwards - Stanford
Chad Pennington - Marshall
Kellen Clements - Oregon
Marques Tuiasasopo - Washington
Brett Ratliffe - Utah
Trent Green - Indiana
Cleo Lemon - Arkansas State
John Beck - BYU
Carson Palmer - USC
Doug Johnson - Florida
Jeff Rowe - Nevada
Jeff Smith - Georgetown
Ben Rothlesberger - Miami of Ohio
Charlie Batch - Eastern Michigan
Brian St. Pierre - Boston College
Charlie Frye - Akron
Derek Anderson - Oregon State
Brady Quinn - Notre Dame
Ken Dorsey - Miami
Steve McNair - Alcorn State
Kyle Boller - Cal
Troy Smith - Ohio State
Peyton Manning - Tennessee
Jim Sorgi - Wisconsin
Josh Betts - Miami of Ohio
Byron Leftwich - Marshall
David Gerrard - East Carolina
Quinn Gray - Florida A & M
Matt Schaub - Virginia
Sage Rosenfels - Iowa State
Jared Zabransky - Boise State
Kerry Collins - Penn State
Vince Young - Texas
Tim Rattay - Louisiana Tech
Brody Croyle - Alabama
Damon Huard - Washington
Jeff Terrell - Princeton
Casey Printers - Florida A & M
Jay Cutler - Vanderbilt
Patrick Ramsey - Tulane
Preston Parsons - Northern Illinois
Darrel Hackney - UAB
JaMarcus Russell - LSU
Andrew Walter - Arizona State
Josh McCown - Sam Houston State
Daunte Culpepper - Central Florida
Phillip Rivers - NC State
Billy Volek - Fresno State
Charlie Whitehurst - Clemson
Tony Romo - Eastern Illinois
Brad Johnson - Florida State
Richard Bartel - Tarleton State
Matt Moore - Oregon State
Jason Campbell - Auburn
Gibran Hamdan - Indiana
Mark Brunell - Washington
Jordan Palmer - UTEP
Todd Collins - Michigan
Eli Manning - Mississippi
Tim Hasselbeck - Boston College
Anthony Wright - South Carolina
Jared Lorenzen - Kentucky
Donovan McNabb - Syracuse
Kevin Kolb - Houston
AJ Feeley - Oregon
Jon Kitna - Central Washington
Dan Orlovsky - Connecticut
Drew Stanton - Michigan State
Rex Grossman - Florida
Brian Griese - Michigan
Kyle Orton - Purdue
Chris Leak - Florida
Tavaris Jackson - Alabama State
Brooks Bollinger - Wisconsin
Kelly Holcombe - Middle Tennessee State
tyler Thigpen - Coastal Carolina
Brett Favre - Southern Miss
Aaron Rogers - Cal
Paul Thompson - Oklahoma
Drew Brees - Purdue
Jaime Martin - Weber State
Tyler Palco - Pitt
Jake Delhomme - Louisiana - Lafayette
David Carr - Fresno State
Chris Weinke - Florida State
Brett Basanez - Northwestern
Michael Vick - Virginia Tech
Joey Harrington - Oregon
Chris Redman - Louisville
DJ Shockley - Georgia
Casey Bramlet - Wyoming
Chris Simms - Texas
Jeff Garcia - San Jose State
Luke McCown - Louisiana Tech
Marc Bulger - West Virginia
Bruce Gradkowski - Toledo
Bruce Eugene - Grambling
Gus Frerotte - Tulsa
Ryan Fitzgerald - Harvard
Brock Berlin - Miami
Alex Smith - Utah
Trent Dilfer - Fresno State
Luke Getsy - Akron
Shaun Hill - Tulane
Matt Leinart - USC
Kurt Warner - Norther Iowa
Lang Campbell - William and Mary
Matt Hasselback - Boston College
Seneca Wallace - Iowa State
David Greene - Georgia
David Devine - Marshall


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